Dieter Zetsche's Chrysler days are long over, but he's pretty good at maintaining ties with old colleagues from Auburn Hills, Mich. The Daimler chairman is investing in the venture capital fund run by Tom LaSorda, who replaced Zetsche as Chrysler's CEO in 2006 when Zetsche returned to Germany to head Chrysler's then-parent.
Back in the day, the two men worked closely together as Chrysler's No. 1 and No. 2. LaSorda later had a stint as Fisker's CEO, then launched his investment group, IncWell, in May 2013. The firm has begun making investments out of its second fund, which LaSorda said raised almost $10 million.
"Dieter said, 'What's this about a second fund? I want to invest.' And I said, 'Man, oh, man, we'd love to have you,'" LaSorda said.
IncWell launched its first fund of less than $3 million to invest in very-early-stage technology companies. At the time, IncWell made headlines more for the caliber of its investors than the size of its fund. They included Roger Penske, former Chrysler executive Steven Landry and Simon Boag, another former Chrysler exec who is IncWell's managing director.
LaSorda said IncWell's first fund invested in 12 startup companies, all of them still in business.